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Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30 
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Post Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30
Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30

When he was twelve, Jesus precociously mixed in theological debate. When he was thirty, he was crucified. According to the Bible at least. In fact, these ages show how the myth of Jesus Christ exhibits direct continuity with the Egyptian myth of Horus.

Over the first two centuries of the Christian era, conflicting streams of thought developed, resulting in the triumph of the popular and simple version of the Christ myth in the literal historical story described in the Gospels, and the destruction of a complex literate understanding, Gnosticism, that recognised the continuity between the new myth of Christ and ancient ideas from Egypt. The essence of the conflict was the victory of the illiterate over the literate, of emotion over reason, of wish fulfilment over reality, and of political schemers over spiritual mystics. It was a numbers game. The orthodox exploited the popularity of a simple story of salvation by belief, leaving the Gnostics isolated by their reliance on reason and logic. The numbers game of orthodox victory can now be turned on its head, using reason and logic to show how the symbolic numbers within the Gospel story predate the New Testament by thousands of years, making the claim that they are historical into a farce.

In the chapter of Christ in Egypt on Horus at the Age of 12 and 30, DM Murdock demonstrates how these numbers, pivotal in the life of Christ, featured in the Egyptian myth of Horus. The Egyptian calendar used twelve months of thirty days each (with five extra days). They held a festival every thirty years, or in the thirtieth year of a pharaoh’s reign, to demonstrate renewed vigor. They understood twelve signs of the zodiac each year, as confirmed by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus centuries before Christ, with each sign divided into thirty degrees. These motifs illustrate that the combination of twelve and thirty produces the annual structure of time, a motif that is ‘the same yesterday, today and forever’, with the regularity of the annual cycle usurped by Christianity to invent the myth of Jesus Christ.

An Egyptian papyrus in the British Museum says “when the son of Osiris (ie Horus) was twelve years old he was wiser than the wisest scribes.”(p213). There are three Horuses, a babe in the arms of his virgin mother Isis, a child of twelve and a man of thirty, just like Jesus. In Horus we find the prototype of Christ.

At the thirty year Sed Festival in Egypt, it was proclaimed ‘Horus.appears’(p216). This thirty year cycle was understood by Frazer in the Golden Bough as astronomical, linked directly to observation of the nearly thirty year orbit of Saturn, the limit of the visible solar system. Saturn is the Roman name for the Greek Titan Cronos, or Old Father Time, from whom we obtain our term chronology. Horus too is directly associated with the passage of time, through association with the Greek cognate Horos, or hour.

Prominent Egyptologist Sir Athur Weigall saw the link of the Sed Festival with Christ, saying :”the manifestation of Jesus at his baptism occurred, like a Pharaoh’s Sed Festival, exactly thirty years after his divine appointment, or birth in this case” (p217).

This connection between Horus and Jesus appears prominently in the early syncretism between the Greco-Egyptian invention Serapis and Jesus, from which Christianity evolved. In the chapter on Horus at 12 and 30, Murdock shows how rejection of this syncretic mentality was at the center of orthodoxy. Bishop Irenaeus of Lyon, in his book Against Heresies, castigates the Gnostics for holding that “the seventh heaven … completes a cycle from sign to sign in thirty years, they say that this is an image of Horus” (p221). It is rather interesting here that in the old geocentric cosmology, each planet formed a concentric celestial sphere, with the seventh sphere (heaven) formed by the seventh planet, Saturn, which does in fact ‘complete a cycle from sign to sign in thirty years’. We see here how Gnosticism was based on simple natural observation, including with its equation of Horus with Saturn and limit, and how orthodoxy rejected observation in favour of supernatural imagination. Irenaeus attacks the Gnostic idea of ‘the duodecad of the Aeons’ or the idea that Christ represents the existence of twelve ages, or “the final and perfect Aeon”. Very interestingly here, we see in the Great Year that Christ as the reflection of eternity symbolises all of time distilled into a moment on the earth. This of course matches to the fact that the time of Christ was when one Great Year gave way to the next in terms of the widespread zodiacal vision of the ancient world.

Murdock provides an interesting reference from Plato’s Timaeus (p227), which illustrates how knowledge of astronomy helps to see the errors in tradition. In the traditional interpretation of Plato’s image of the same and the different as represented by the galaxy and the celestial equator, we see again how Christian ideas have ignorantly failed to understand the meaning because of their emotional hostility towards actually looking at the sky. In fact, Plato’s image of the same is the galaxy but the different is not the celestial equator, per tradition, but the zodiac. We see this in the chi rho cross formed by the intersection of the galaxy and the zodiac in the sky, the actual basis of Constantine’s vision at Milvian Bridge. This is a rather simple error, in that ‘the other’ or ‘the different’ for Plato symbolises the constant change of the planetary positions, while ‘the same’ represents the constant unchanging appearance of the galaxy. Murdock notes that Christian Father Justin Martyr understood Plato’s vision as “a cross upon the universe”. The widespread myth that Plato’s ‘other or different’ is the celestial equator is just part of the Christian pathological opposition to any recognition of the natural cycle of the zodiac as forming the ground of our being.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30
Robert Tulip wrote:
The orthodox exploited the popularity of a simple story of salvation by belief, leaving the Gnostics isolated by their reliance on reason and logic. The numbers game of orthodox victory can now be turned on its head, using reason and logic to show how the symbolic numbers within the Gospel story predate the New Testament by thousands of years, making the claim that they are historical into a farce.

Someone who knows the gnostic books much better than I can tell me if my puzzlement is justified over the claim that reason and logic characterized the thinking of the gnostics. Of course, this is a diverse group and generalization might be hazardous.

I can't find exactly where you said it, Robert, but the statement that there is nothing new in Christianity (acc. to D. M. Murdock) might need to be qualified. She must be saying this against the backdrop of the faithful who believe that everything about xtianity springs de novo from the ground in Israel. Obviously, this belief is a consequence of the belief in the reality of the theology. The non-faithful see without surprise that the elements of the theology have a lineage in other cultures.

However, in another sense it is possible to say that Christianity did introduce something new in its particular use of the elements. Can you find a previous instance of a god dying for the people, so that the people might not die but have eternal life? That is a power chord that the Egyptians probably didn't play. Although my memory of the book is hazy, I think that Karen Armstrong (A History of God) emphasizes the newness of Christianity as an explanation for why it caught on in a time of great turmoil around the Mediterranean. In particular, she says that the message of hope, available to all regardless of ethnicity, and the strength of the Christian message of brotherhood and love superseding national boundaries, carried the day for Christianity.

This isn't an argument against Murdock or you in the context of astrotheology, but simply an attempt to say that a full accounting of why the religion succeeded needs to include more than vilification of those who wanted to bury certain skeletal remains of the faith.


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30
What about mummies? What afterlife did the average Egyptian look forward to?



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30
Well, the deceased is referred to as the Osiris. And indeed the ordeal of Osiris serves as a model for what each person must go through as Osiris themselves. This was only changed slightly with Christianity. Church members are considered as the body of Christ as it goes. His death and resurrection represents the resurrection from death that all can hope to attain. It's actually very Osirian in nature, but Osirian from a strongly Graeco-Jewish perspective presentation.


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30
DWill wrote:
Someone who knows the gnostic books much better than I can tell me if my puzzlement is justified over the claim that reason and logic characterized the thinking of the gnostics. Of course, this is a diverse group and generalization might be hazardous.
Excellent point, and you are right DWill that it is puzzling. I read through most of the Gnostic texts in the Nag Hammadi library, and it is true that there is a lot of supernatural imagery. However, and this is something I need to explore further, there is also a sense within the main Gnostic literature of continuity with Egyptian myth, as Murdock explains in this chapter in discussing the Gnostic leader Valentinus, who was at his time seen as an orthodox Christian. The problem that the later orthodox had with Valentinus seems to revolve around this idea that the Logos is natural reason, seen in the 'as above so below' Hermetic cosmology that explains religious images as reflections of the ordered movement of the cosmos. By insisting the Gospels were literal history, the church hollowed out the rational explanation that Jesus Christ was an allegory for the sun.
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I can't find exactly where you said it, Robert, but the statement that there is nothing new in Christianity (acc. to D. M. Murdock) might need to be qualified. She must be saying this against the backdrop of the faithful who believe that everything about xtianity springs de novo from the ground in Israel. Obviously, this belief is a consequence of the belief in the reality of the theology. The non-faithful see without surprise that the elements of the theology have a lineage in other cultures.
At post94757.html#p94757 I said "7. One point of detail where I differ slightly from Murdock in emphasis is her comment that Christianity brought nothing new, but was just a 'rehash' of older mythology. My view is that the vision of Christ as avatar of the Age of Pisces was entirely new, albeit updating an old cosmic vision for a new age in a way that had strong continuity with previous established religious thinking. The problem was that this vision, wherever it originated, was and remains intellectually difficult to understand, because people cannot imagine that something so subtle and invisible as the movement of the equinox by one degree per lifetime could be the tectonic plate of human culture. This cosmic vision is seen throughout the New Testament in fragmentary form, indicating that it started as a coherent vision, but was steadily diluted to make it acceptable to a mass audience. Astrotheology, seeing Christ as allegory for the sun, is the stone at the head of the corner that the builders refused."

This is actually a key point. and I am really glad that you have picked up on it DWill. For Murdock, as I read her, she shares the anger of ex-fundamentalists at being deceived by the church, and implies that the scale of this deception and error casts Christianity entirely into doubt. Yet, as Penelope just mentioned, there is much of ethical value within Christianity, and " fighting and killing mostly about who built the stadium" has to be set against the context of views on the rules of the game. I think this is one reason that Murdock struggles to gain a mainstream audience, because her 'Christ Conspiracy' argument appears as a rejection of faith, not a reform of it. The challenge here is to articulate a new positive faith, rather than just a negative critique. It is about synthesis between scientific understanding and mythic psychology, not just antithesis. As I see it, astrotheology presents a purely scientific method to rebase Christianity in natural observation, so we can retain the good within faith while tossing out the weeds and bathwater that have accreted to it through the delusions of the church.
Quote:
However, in another sense it is possible to say that Christianity did introduce something new in its particular use of the elements. Can you find a previous instance of a god dying for the people, so that the people might not die but have eternal life? That is a power chord that the Egyptians probably didn't play. Although my memory of the book is hazy, I think that Karen Armstrong (A History of God) emphasizes the newness of Christianity as an explanation for why it caught on in a time of great turmoil around the Mediterranean. In particular, she says that the message of hope, available to all regardless of ethnicity, and the strength of the Christian message of brotherhood and love superseding national boundaries, carried the day for Christianity.
The archetype of the dying and rising savior explains the annual cycle of the seasons. The sun dies in winter so that it can be reborn in spring. This is the origin of all ancient fertility rituals. I think the "power chord", to use your interesting phrase, is that this allegorical mythical symbolic God previously worshiped as Attis and Osiris and Dionysus gained a whole new dimension when Jewish chutzpah was applied, and the fiction of incarnation in history was used to build a mass movement. As we have previously discussed in relation to Finkelstein and King Josiah, chutzpah has a long pedigree, extending to the invention of the Exodus and King David. On the scientific precessional model of history matching the slow sweep of the stars, Daniel predicted the anointed one would arrive at the dawn of the Age of Pisces, so we have a sense that if Jesus did not exist he had to be invented, to paraphrase Voltaire.
Quote:
This isn't an argument against Murdock or you in the context of astrotheology, but simply an attempt to say that a full accounting of why the religion succeeded needs to include more than vilification of those who wanted to bury certain skeletal remains of the faith.

Yes, the whole problem of vilification is central to the difficulty of this debate. Religious vilification is actually illegal in Australia, and we are seeing the courts test the limits of free speech in theology, with Muslims challenging the right of fundamentalist Christians to question the Islamic faith. By saying that astrotheology has a positive message, rebasing Christianity in science, it becomes possible to relate to the tradition more in sorrow than in anger.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30
But surely, Robert, it cannot be that you're appealing to the concept of "chutzpah" to explain the newness I claimed for the Christian application of the rebirth mythology! You're kidding (right?). What I was saying illustrates the fact that what we see happening to the mythology as it shifts cultures and as the historical moment changes, is just what we'd expect when we use the analogy to evolution: descent with modification. You don't seem to want to recognize that development will occur, development that can be largely independent of the machinations of intellectual theologians whom you see pulling the strings. It isn't a development you approve of, but that doesn't change the need to recognize it. I get the strong sense that you're thinking, "If not for what they did, we'd have a Christianity based on cosmic wisdom." But your perspective is very much what Wright called the "Marxist" or "intellectualist" with respect to religion. It's top-down. Mine is more the functionalist or facts-on-the-ground and is bottom-up. Neither can be said to be the right view, but I've noticed that it's difficult for those on the opposite poles to understand each other.

With regard to why the Jews who became the Christians reformed a myth of rebirth into a historical event, we should take into account both the concrete character of Jewish thinking (if not chutzpah) as seen in the scriptures, and the strong influence that monotheism itself was likely to have played.


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30
I think that had they not focused on an historical reading of the myths then Christianity would have remained as something like Mithraism. And it probably wouldn't have lasted through the dark ages. The historicity aspect is key to the survival of the myth. Which is why I believe that the slow death of the historicity happening now in intellectual circles, through both evemerist and mythicist perspectives, is going to eventually spread through the general public more and more and the religion will fade away with speed through the next several generations. If Jesus was just a man, why bother? If Jesus wasn't even a man, but a myth, why bother? And that's really what people seem to be reacting to with you Robert. If it's just a mythology containing natural observations, not supernatural miracles or mystical heavenly realms of eternal life, why bother with any of it? Why not seek out astronomy in science to have a sense of awe and wonder of the natural universe as it actually is?


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30
I find puzzling the continual claim that astrotheolgical beliefs were logical, reasoned, and scientific. This is stated to be a fact, but it's never shown how this is so. Was this all religion or wasn't it, and would we expect, anyway, to find a scientific view within religion, polytheistic or otherwise? The bare fact that observation of the skies can be said to underlie the mythologies doesn't mean that the myths are somehow scientific. The changes of seasons had also been long observed, yet the myths that were created to account for or celebrate this aren't science.

Once the planets, the sun and stars, are grasped in a scientific way, all mythologizing ends. There isn't any reason to cloak in myth something understood scientifically. A scientific understanding of the skies would have to wait several centuries. My view is that some mythicists are enamored of a religious viewpoint based on movement of the celestial bodies in relation to earth. To them, this symbolizes humans' very existence and includes us in the body of nature. That's fine, but I don't think the authority they are looking for in ancient times is there. Especially to posit a spiritual yet scientific enlightenment that was destroyed by literal-minded theologians, seems a big historical mistake.


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30
DWill wrote:
But surely, Robert, it cannot be that you're appealing to the concept of "chutzpah" to explain the newness I claimed for the Christian application of the rebirth mythology! You're kidding (right?).
What Finkelstein describes as King Josiah 'finding' the book of Deuteronomy in the temple at Jerusalem looks very much like chutzpah. For Christians to similarly take a cosmic theology of a new age and write a fictional historical back story is also chutzpah.
Quote:
What I was saying illustrates the fact that what we see happening to the mythology as it shifts cultures and as the historical moment changes, is just what we'd expect when we use the analogy to evolution: descent with modification. You don't seem to want to recognize that development will occur, development that can be largely independent of the machinations of intellectual theologians whom you see pulling the strings.
Of course most religious evolution occurs at popular level, but it is also important to recognize the role of ideas in leading the popular mind. There is no way the popular evolution of religion is "largely independent" of theology. Popular leaders seek to justify their ideas, and find themselves in debate with theologians. The debates are primarily won on the basis of utility rather than reason, but the rational argument influences the popular culture in ways that often take a long time to be seen.
Quote:
It isn't a development you approve of, but that doesn't change the need to recognize it. I get the strong sense that you're thinking, "If not for what they did, we'd have a Christianity based on cosmic wisdom."
No, actually I think the cosmic seers at the source of the ideas in the New Testament recognised that the fallen state of the world meant that enlightenment would not be possible for thousands of years, and that an interim belief based world religion would help prepare the way for a future time when people could comprehend reality.
Quote:
But your perspective is very much what Wright called the "Marxist" or "intellectualist" with respect to religion. It's top-down. Mine is more the functionalist or facts-on-the-ground and is bottom-up. Neither can be said to be the right view, but I've noticed that it's difficult for those on the opposite poles to understand each other.
No, actually the hypothesis of astrotheology is completely bottom up. It starts with nature, with the observable relation between the earth and the universe, and suggests these physical processes provide a tectonic type framework for the ideas that occur within them.
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With regard to why the Jews who became the Christians reformed a myth of rebirth into a historical event, we should take into account both the concrete character of Jewish thinking (if not chutzpah) as seen in the scriptures, and the strong influence that monotheism itself was likely to have played.

Is "concrete" a euphemism for "fictional"?

There is a strong prophetic trend in Second Temple Judaism focusing on an 'anointed one'. In Daniel 9 there is a simple basis to associate this prophecy with the time of Christ, as Isaac Newton has explained. The encounter between this Judaic monotheist messianism and the Greco-Egyptian hybrid God Serapis served as the crucible for the Christ Myth.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30
DWill wrote:
I find puzzling the continual claim that astrotheolgical beliefs were logical, reasoned, and scientific. This is stated to be a fact, but it's never shown how this is so.
Murdock has shown it abundantly. The key astrotheological claim is that divine characters personify natural forces. The logic, reason and science of this claim is demonstrated by the comparison between the stories and the natural reality that the stories allegorize. For example, the 'death of the sun' at the winter solstice and its 'rebirth' on the third day provides a perennial natural basis for the allegory of cross and resurrection at Easter. The match between the four cardinal points in the sky and the 'four living creatures' of Ezekiel and Revelation shows that these ancient authors used these symbols as allegory for observation.
Quote:
Was this all religion or wasn't it, and would we expect, anyway, to find a scientific view within religion, polytheistic or otherwise? The bare fact that observation of the skies can be said to underlie the mythologies doesn't mean that the myths are somehow scientific. The changes of seasons had also been long observed, yet the myths that were created to account for or celebrate this aren't science.
I would not say myth is scientific in the modern sense, but myth does have a scientific core when it presents an allegory for a regular pattern that everyone can see, such as the annual path of the sun. Understanding the calendar was a main part of the origin of science.
Quote:

Once the planets, the sun and stars, are grasped in a scientific way, all mythologizing ends. There isn't any reason to cloak in myth something understood scientifically.
That just isn't true. If we grasp the spin wobble of the earth scientifically, we can see how it was used to form a range of myths, for example as discussed in Hamlet's Mill. So myth actually gains a natural explanation from astronomy. The reason to 'cloak in myth something understood scientifically' is that the main natural cycles of the earth are the physical framework for human life. If life is connected to its natural source, we expect a reflection between the ideas and the observation. This is what we actually find by understanding Christianity and its doctrine of the Age against stellar observation.
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A scientific understanding of the skies would have to wait several centuries. My view is that some mythicists are enamored of a religious viewpoint based on movement of the celestial bodies in relation to earth. To them, this symbolizes humans' very existence and includes us in the body of nature. That's fine, but I don't think the authority they are looking for in ancient times is there. Especially to posit a spiritual yet scientific enlightenment that was destroyed by literal-minded theologians, seems a big historical mistake.

There is strong evidence for such an enlightened understanding destroyed by literalism. There are numerous astral allegories throughout the Bible. Literal minded theologians associated these allegories with paganism, and systematically concealed them. But the allegories between myth and nature are still there, for those with eyes to see.

The Egyptians held a religious viewpoint for several thousand years based on movement of the celestial bodies in relation to earth. In terms of the topic of this thread, the Egyptian God Horus appears to have symbolized the rising sun at his birth and through his life, the orbit of Jupiter and the twelve months of the year at age twelve, and the orbit of Saturn and thirty days of the month at age thirty. If this old Egyptian natural viewpoint was taken over and hidden within a fictional novel by Christianity, understanding the Egyptian attitudes and practices, considering that they prospered for so long, is helpful to see what the evolutionary benefit of these ideas might be in their concealed Christian form.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30
Just to add to what Robert said above addressing the question of evidence for astrotheology. It's important to realize that much of what Acharya S/Murdock does throughout her work is compile the history of this evidence. She cites many ancient structures and temples, hieroglyphs, petroglyphs, texts, a long list of artifacts plus, scholarly commentary on them all. Ancient temples with astronomical alignments along with the mythology that goes with it equals astrotheology. Acharya S/Murdock has compiled the strongest case for mythicism ever compiled to date.

Here's just a small sample of quotes:
Quote:
"Now when the ancient Egyptians, awestruck and wondering, turned their eyes to the heavens, they concluded that two gods, the sun and the moon, were primeval and eternal; and they called the former Osiris, the latter Isis..."

- Diodorus Siculus (90-21 BCE), Greek Historian
"Christ in Egypt, page 28

Quote:
Early Church Father Tertullian ironically admits the true origins of the Christ story and of all other such godmen by stating in refutation of his critics, "You say we worship the sun; so do you." (paraphrase from the Catholic Encyclopedia)

- "Christ Conspiracy" 158

* There's more from Tertuallian in Christ in Egypt on page 113.
Quote:
"All the gods of the Greek and Roman mythology represent the attributes of the one supreme divine power - the SUN."

- Macrobius, Roman scholar around 400ce
"Suns of God" 67-68

* There's much more from Macrobius throughout Christ in Egypt.
Quote:
"The lost language of celestial allegory can now be restored, chiefly through the resurrection of ancient Egypt; the scriptures can be read as they were originally written, according to the secret wisdom, and we now know how history was first written as mythology."

- Gerald Massey, The 2010 Astrotheology Calendar, page 6

Quote:
"At Stonehenge in England and Carnac in France, in Egypt and Yucatan, across the whole face of the earth are found mysterious ruins of ancient monuments, monuments with astronomical significance. These relics of other times are as accessible as the American Midwest and as remote as the jungles of Guatemala. Some of them were built according to celestial alignments; others were actually precision astronomical observatories... Careful observation of the celestial rhythms was compellingly important to early peoples, and their expertise, in some respects, was not equaled in Europe until three thousand years later."

- Dr. Edwin Krupp, Astronomer & Director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles
Suns of God, page 26

Quote:
"I find it undeniable that many of the epic heroes and ancient patriarchs and matriarchs of the Old Testament were personified stars, planets, and constellations." "I find myself in full agreement with Acharya S/D.M. Murdock"

- Dr. Robert Price, Biblical Scholar

Ancient Observatories Found Worldwide



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30
Why Astrotheology?

Just to add to my two cents' worth here. What we're demonstrating in studying astrotheology is that myths convey important information and observations of the natural world in a way that is easily and artfully transmitted, especially when and where there is no writing or when teaching children. There are many reasons to pass along this scientific data in anthropomorphized stories, which serve as brilliant mnemonic devices when properly conveyed. As esteemed mythologist Joseph Campbell dedicated his life to show, myths are not all meaningless mystical mumbo-jumbo but often have profound meaning. That's all we're saying, not that we should actually believe in these anthropomorphized gods that serve as symbols of this important information.

What is the important information being conveyed in these myths? Much of it revolves around the movements and characteristics of planetary bodies and celestial events, including the sun, moon, stars, planets, constellations, meteors, comets, etc. Some of the most important information encapsulated in these astromythological or astrotheological stories revolves around the solstices and equinoxes, as can be discerned from numerous astronomical alignments of sacred sites worldwide. For example, sites above and below the equator tend to focus on the solstices, while those nearer the equator, such as the Mesoamerican sites, focus on the equinoxes, as well as Venus. In the southern hemisphere, we also find myths that incorporate the Southern Cross, although that constellation can also be seen closer to and somewhat north of the equator, as in Egypt some 2,000 or more years ago.

I demonstrate this fact of important scientific information being conveyed via astrotheological myths throughout my books, including in the one that is the very subject of this discussion. For example, the god Osiris possesses numerous attributes that teach about the natural world. He is not only significantly soli-lunar, representing the sun during its passage through the night sky, as well as the moon "torn to 14 pieces" when it is waning, but also represents water and the Nile, the "vital force" crucial to life in Egypt. During the Nilotic flooding time each year - a period absolutely vital to the continued occupation of the Nile region, without which drought and famine would occur - it is said that Osiris is born and overflows his banks, impregnating the earthly Isis, who gives birth to Horus, here evidently representing the renewal of foliage. Osiris is often depicted as green, evidently representing the photosynthesis of healthy foliage.

There is much more to this fascinating subject, which is why I keep writing books and articles on it! Suffice it to say that the Egyptian culture itself was largely based on this astromythological or astrotheological knowledge. Whether or not one opines there's "no reason" to convey this important information in this manner, there certainly have been many reasons since very ancient times to do so, and there are those of us who enjoy very much this fascinating and ancient human creation. That's why we may categorize ourselves as "mythicists" and "astrotheologians" or "astromythologists," etc. I personally LOVE myths, especially since I now understand many of the important concepts they have been devised to represent. In my opinion, it's all part of the wonder of human creation to be celebrated.

"I don't think the authority they are looking for in ancient times is there." I have provided the "authority" or evidence for our interest in what the ancients were trying to convey, in thousands of pages citing hundreds of texts and artifacts dating back many millennia. Every day, it seems, there is "authority" or evidence being discovered for this ancient perception, which manifested itself in magnificent edifices, sites and artifacts all over the world. I am not interested in tossing all that away - on the contrary, I celebrate it. I am only "enamored" with it in that I appreciate the great effort and passion that it took to create it. I'm a student/scholar of mythology and archaeology going back several decades - that's who I am and what I do. If the subjects do not interest others, that is their prerogative. I for one find them fascinating, which, again, is why I write so extensively and passionately about them. That's my raison d'etre and joie de vivre.

Here's another example, in which I provide images of fascinating sites and artifacts with explanatory text highlighting their astronomical alignments or astrotheological symbolism:

Image

As I explain in this new calendar, this pyramid at Chichen Itza in the Yucatan, called "El Castillo," is a temple to the Mayan solar-serpent god Kukulkan. Every year at the equinoxes, the sun's shadows play upon the nine levels, creating an undulating "serpent" that traverses the pyramid. There's no need to ascribe anything supernatural to the event or to worship the god(s) involved, but it is one of life's great joys to visit such a site and view a phenomenon like this one.

If you would like a great example of someone celebrating ancient astrotheology or, at least, the astronomically alignment of an ancient site, take a look at Dr. Brian Cox here - his excitement is infectious! (Watch him at the end of the linked video, exclaiming, "I want one!")

2,500-year-old solar observatory in Peru reveals advanced culture

DWill wrote:
I find puzzling the continual claim that astrotheolgical beliefs were logical, reasoned, and scientific. This is stated to be a fact, but it's never shown how this is so. Was this all religion or wasn't it, and would we expect, anyway, to find a scientific view within religion, polytheistic or otherwise? The bare fact that observation of the skies can be said to underlie the mythologies doesn't mean that the myths are somehow scientific. The changes of seasons had also been long observed, yet the myths that were created to account for or celebrate this aren't science.

Once the planets, the sun and stars, are grasped in a scientific way, all mythologizing ends. There isn't any reason to cloak in myth something understood scientifically. A scientific understanding of the skies would have to wait several centuries. My view is that some mythicists are enamored of a religious viewpoint based on movement of the celestial bodies in relation to earth. To them, this symbolizes humans' very existence and includes us in the body of nature. That's fine, but I don't think the authority they are looking for in ancient times is there. Especially to posit a spiritual yet scientific enlightenment that was destroyed by literal-minded theologians, seems a big historical mistake.



Last edited by D.M. Murdock on Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30
Thank you Robert Tulip, FLT99, and D. M. Murdock (who puts in a lot more than two cents). I must be doing a poor job of getting my main point across. I'd never deny that astrotheology was unimportant and I defer to your expertise on that subject. I don't mean to denigrate your interest in it or wealth of knowledge about it. I'm struggling to gain a perspective that seems reasonable overall, and what I'm thinking is that a mythicist position can be a somewhat ideological answer to questions that are in dispute. This is in contrast to mythicism, the study of the relation of myths to observations about the natural world.

I believe, for one thing, that functioning myths do often attribute occult significance to the things they signify. This is where I'd say we're beyond science, for all that we might say about some empirical basis of the myth. It's not meant to be a value judgment but just a distinction.

I think, for another thing, mythicism overreaches when it tries to say that the prevalence of interest in astrotheology must mean that texts should be decoded as allegories for the various movements and events of the skies. Why? Is it not possible for these texts to have other or additional purposes? This seems to bring in astrotheology at times when it clearly isn't appropriate or of explanatory value. Referencing Price's remark quoted by FTL99, he says that "many" of the heroines and heroes of the OT are personified stars, planets, or constellations. He doesn't say which ones are the best candidates or how we would separate the mundane from the celestial-in-origin. Presumably, the figures mentioned that seem to be historical, such as some of the kings, didn't come from the sky and the others without historical pedigrees did. But why would these heroes, such as Abraham, Noah, Isaac, etc. behave so much like Jewish men if they were plucked from the stars? What would be the point? This is not intended as proof that these figures were taken from some sort of "Who's Who" of Hebrew life. Very likely they didn't exist at all in a biographical sense. But come on, look at the many resources that come under the heading of folkways or folklore. Models taken from life, with suitable embellishments accumulating over time, are all you really need.

I suppose it seems to me a bit old-fashioned to try to throw a net of mythicism or any other-ism around the roiling mass of history. You only catch part of the truth.


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30
The answer here is basically to refer to the four functions mythology.

1) Mystical / Religious

2) Cosmological (astromythology/astrotheology)

3) Sociological

4) Pedagogical

Campbell's four functions of a traditional mythology pretty much sets the standard for analyzing. Of course the astrotheology of the ancients is but one of four major functions. And you could go down the line through the Jewish mythology and discover which functions any given myth is targeting. And certainly no one of the four major functions somehow wipes out the other three as the only one relevant. The sociological function is very present in Jewish myth in terms of something like Abraham. And then the cosmological function shows itself too. Abraham and Moses are addressed to the age of Aries. There's cosmological and sociological intermixed. And then there's the God, coming in to serve the first function of the mystery of existence with no beginning or end within the context of the age of Aries, and society during that age, in which a person is living a life from birth to death - 1,2,3,4 wah bam!!!

And in all of this, regardless of the sociological function, there remains a constant underlying presence of the second function and first function at all times. Even when the myth is not immediately concerned with allegorizing the movements of the sky, that's still going on within the context of the story. Abraham is doing this or that, traveling here or there, saying this or that, during the age of Aries the Ram. Moses is organizing 12 tribes during the age of Aries the ram. The priest is wearing 12 jewels represented the 12 signs of the zodiac and 12 seasons during the age of Aries the ram. And when the people want to cling to times gone by, such as worshiping according to Taurus the Bull, the priesthood gets agitated with the people. The society below and the sky above is something that flows right on through the entire bible from cover to cover. And these little sociological issues along the way are held within this greater context and often refer back to it as certain points in the myth.


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30
DWill wrote:
a mythicist position can be a somewhat ideological answer to questions that are in dispute. This is in contrast to mythicism, the study of the relation of myths to observations about the natural world.
The role of ideology in this material is an interesting question. Generally, ideology means having an agenda about what is good and important, and what is bad and unimportant. So ideology begins with claims about objective facts, and puts them into an evaluative framework according to a political motive.

If we look at explanations of Christian origins, it is clear that orthodoxy is ideological, with its idea that salvation requires belief in the literal events of the passion of Christ. To say that the mythicist position is equally ideological is far from settled. Mythicism recognises that the conventional views are scientifically impossible, and looks for explanations of how doctrines arose in ways that make sense against the available evidence. Mythicism finds that understanding myth as originating in natural observation, which then becomes personified, is vastly more plausible than conventional theories.

So at this foundation level, mythicism is all about finding a scientific explanation for the available evidence. It is about describing facts in a contestable way, not asserting a set of normative values.

However, ideology rapidly enters the picture when we ask why these facts are important. If we have an agenda regarding religion, then these findings can be used to promote that agenda. My own view is that the archetype of Christ is central to human identity, and that rebasing our vision of Christ on the scientific knowledge provided by mythicism offers a way to reform popular faith. Others see the evils of religion as so great that the only ethical lesson from this material is that religion is so corrupt that it has to be replaced by modern secular reason, in which myth remains condemned as false consciousness.

These ideological perspectives depend on the values we bring to the factual material. But Christ in Egypt is primarily about uncovering the facts, attempting to put Christian origins on a scientific footing. This project encounters a rather rabid ideological belief that Jesus existed, a belief that true believers hold regardless of evidence. So the threshold ideological question here is whether we value facts as the basis of opinions.
Quote:
I believe, for one thing, that functioning myths do often attribute occult significance to the things they signify. This is where I'd say we're beyond science, for all that we might say about some empirical basis of the myth. It's not meant to be a value judgment but just a distinction.
Yes, but that is not what Christ in Egypt is about. In this book, the question is about uncovering the continuity between Christian beliefs and pre-existing myth, and any 'occult' supernatural meaning that people may have seen in these myths is really irrelevant to the historical questions of how Christianity evolved from previous myth. Sticking to the science, if the Egyptians used Horus as a name for the rising sun, we have a simple daily observation, with the regularity of time built into the ideation. Any magical stories based on this observation go beyond what astrotheology can properly contain as a positive scholarly research program.
Quote:
I think, for another thing, mythicism overreaches when it tries to say that the prevalence of interest in astrotheology must mean that texts should be decoded as allegories for the various movements and events of the skies. Why? Is it not possible for these texts to have other or additional purposes? This seems to bring in astrotheology at times when it clearly isn't appropriate or of explanatory value.
I'm not sure what your evidence is for this claim of overreach. Religious texts operate at multiple levels. Stellar correlations appear to be a foundational level, keying in to very ancient human rituals regarding reverence for the sun and moon and stars as structuring the ordered logic of life. So astrotheology provides the skeletal template, and the detailed stories are embroidered on this framework. There is so much in the Bible that corresponds to the cosmic vision of precession and other cosmic allegories in the structure of time that there is really no need to speculate about correspondences that are weaker.

Obviously the New Testament operated to unite the Christian movement in the second century. The mythicist reading observes that this unification process involved the suppression of ideas in the text that did not sit comfortably with the political vision of the Christian leaders. This is the nub of the orthodox debate with Gnosticism, that the Gnostics had a complex cosmic vision that was unsuited to inspiring an illiterate mass movement, and that debate created internal divisions that were politically unhelpful. However, Gnostic ideas remain of high interest as being at the intellectual foundation of orthodoxy, before it was dumbed down by politics.
Quote:
Referencing Price's remark quoted by FTL99, he says that "many" of the heroines and heroes of the OT are personified stars, planets, or constellations. He doesn't say which ones are the best candidates or how we would separate the mundane from the celestial-in-origin. Presumably, the figures mentioned that seem to be historical, such as some of the kings, didn't come from the sky and the others without historical pedigrees did. But why would these heroes, such as Abraham, Noah, Isaac, etc. behave so much like Jewish men if they were plucked from the stars? What would be the point? This is not intended as proof that these figures were taken from some sort of "Who's Who" of Hebrew life. Very likely they didn't exist at all in a biographical sense. But come on, look at the many resources that come under the heading of folkways or folklore. Models taken from life, with suitable embellishments accumulating over time, are all you really need.
If the original myth of Adam was somehow that he founded the Age of Taurus, much like Jesus founded the Age of Pisces, then it seems comprehensible to me that personifying this cosmic function would naturally draw the character on the basis of heroic models. The model does not have to be taken from life, it can start with the cosmic archetype and then personify it.
Quote:

I suppose it seems to me a bit old-fashioned to try to throw a net of mythicism or any other-ism around the roiling mass of history. You only catch part of the truth.


It is only old-fashioned in the sense that philosophy in the nineteenth century aimed to provide comprehensive systematic logical explanation of everything, while the twentieth century recoiled from this high ambition. My view is that the spin wobble of the earth provides a unifying explanation for theology just as plate tectonics does for geology. To falsify this claim you would need to show what part of theology falls outside the comprehensive structure of time provided by the cosmology of precession caused by orbital factors.



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